Share Your Garden Wisdom Video Contest: Tips and tricks

Video Contest Woman shooting on a mobile phone
9 Aug
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Earlier this year, we asked you to create a video to share your garden wisdom. Every video acts as an entry to our video contest, where the winner receives a $500 gift card to West Coast Seeds. We’ve enjoyed watching every entry that has come in so far! You can watch all of them on our Youtube channel, or on our Facebook page.

For those still considering making a video, there’s still time! Many of us have gardens that are at their peaks, so it’s a great time to get something on camera. Here are our top tips for making a quality video. 

1. Plan it out

Your message is the foundation to your video. The shots, text, editing, etc. will build on the message you set out. Before filming, ask yourself: what piece or pieces of garden wisdom am I sharing? Your garden wisdom is the focus of the video.

Next, ask yourself: how am I conveying my garden wisdom? You could share your knowledge by doing a garden walkthrough, filming a how to video, or even going a more creative route (last year we had a song about bees. Yes, really!). Choose a video style that you’re comfortable with.

By planning your message and your video style, your video will be polished and focused. You’ll also be efficient with your time in front of the camera!

From here, you can plan out the rest. Think about what you want to say and what shots you want to get. You can even write it down in a script and shot list if it helps you feel more organized.

2. Hold your phone horizontally

We’ve received many submissions filmed vertically, and we’ve loved them! However, for the highest quality video, consider shooting horizontally. Vertical videos have black bars on the sides to accommodate horizontal video players. These black bars cannot be edited out later.

3. Avoid windy days (if possible)

We get it. Gardens are outside, so avoiding wind can be difficult. However, if you can avoid blustery days, do it! Wind can create a low rumble in your video’s audio, and will mask much of what is said to the camera. We want to be able to hear every bit of garden wisdom you have to share.

4. Find a way to steady your camera

Camera shake can be hard to avoid, especially if you are walking in your garden while filming. If appropriate to the shot, try using a tripod. If you’re walking, try pulling your camera or phone close to your chest. This helps stabilize the shot.

Ahead are our more advanced tips. Consider them if you have more time, or experience making videos.

5. Shoot with b-roll in mind

B-roll is additional footage that is intercut with your main shot. Some examples of gardening b-roll are close ups of your crops, shots of bees in garden, shooting a pan of the entire garden, etc. There’s something to be said about “show, don’t tell”. We of course want to hear and see you teaching us about your garden, but we also want to see the results of your effort. Consider adding some b-roll if it helps convey your message.

6. Editing software

If you decide that you want to edit clips together, you’ll need a video editing software. We use Adobe Premiere Pro, but may be overkill if you are a beginning user. For beginner-friendly options, look into Windows Movie Maker (Windows), iMovie (Mac), or Adobe Spark Video.

Remember, these are not strict rules, nor will we be judging your video and using these points as criteria. While a polished video is nice, what matters is the message you are sharing with our gardening community. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Need some help along the way? Email Caroline at caroline@westcoastseeds.com, or reach out to us on Twitter at @westcoastseeds. Our in-house video editor is happy to give you some pointers.